Look… if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted—one moment—would you capture it, or just let it slip?
Tonight we square off against Duke University. Although we do not have a ton in common with the Blue Devils, if there is one thing that we both do share it is our reputation for being football schools. For this reason it should come as no surprise that the outcome of this game will shape the ACC Coastal Division race.
When I first came to Carolina, all I would hear about was how terrible of a place Duke was. People were saying that it was like another version of NC State, just with a better basketball team, tougher academics, prettier girls, and a more scenic campus. All I could say to that was “Wow. That is a low blow to Duke.” I tried to tell these people that it could not possibly be that bad. I mean I get the whole 8 Mile across town rivalry thing, but these people were trying to make it out like Duke was the reason for Watergate, or some other terrible scandal that cast a dark shadow on our country’s reputation.
Wait… you are telling me that Richard Nixon went to Duke? You have got to be kidding me.
With everyone around me only offering a negative viewpoint, I felt like it was my moral obligation to find out the real story behind this extensively expensive university, and its upstart football team. After days and days of tedious research, here is what I came up with.
In the early to mid 1800’s there was a group of Quakers and Methodists who came together to establish a new university under the motto “Eruditio et Religio.” Nobody knew what this meant, and the founders wanted to keep it this way. They even named their newly founded university “Duke,” after the golden retriever that guards the secret family recipe for Bush’s Baked Beans. But to their dismay, in one of the commercials Duke went behind Jay Bush’s back and tried to sell the recipe to the highest bidder. What a sellout. Naturally, the university motto’s meaning was also discovered. It turned out to be some kind of gibberish code for “Knowledge and Religion.”
It is pretty obvious where the Quakers and Methodists were going with the whole knowledge part; all you have to do is look at some of the notable alumni. Ron Paul, your favorite candidate that you don’t vote for, is a Duke grad. Ron Paul for goodness sake! If that doesn’t just scream knowledge, I don’t know what does. On top of that, you can never forget about Benjamin Barry, the character played by Matthew McConaughey in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Benjamin was a fictional graduate of Duke, and although “knowledge” is not the first word that comes to mind when I think of him, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is a classic film, and you have to respect that.
As you can see, the knowledge part was really a no-brainer. (Get it? A no-brainer? Lolz.) However, I was still having a hard time figuring out where the religion part fit in. That is when I read the scouting report for the Duke football team. As I thumbed through the different names and bios of each player, one jumped out at me. Under the name Conner Vernon, I saw the words “ACC record holder for receptions in a career.” As impressive as those words are, and as much sense as they were about to make, they were not what caught my attention. What got me was his photo. Now I am no historicizer, but does Conner not look remarkably similar to someone we all know and love?
At first, it seems like playing a team that literally has Jesus on their side might be an impossible task. However, the more I think about it, the more that I think that Jesus is a wild card. There is no doubt that he could win if he wanted to, the man can walk on water. Yet, you have to keep in mind that he practically never puts himself first. I almost think that he will give us this game out of the kindness of his heart. Regardless, there is no doubt that tension will still be high during the 8 Mile trip to Wallace Wade tonight.
On another note, this week’s “Crib Call of the Week” is heading in the direction of Coach Shane Laws, and the rest of the 2012 4-A Mountain Athletic Conference Champion A.C. Reynolds Rocket football team. Last night, they defeated previously undefeated T.C. Roberson to take the conference championship, and the number one seed going into the playoffs. Unfortunately even with this victory, none of the Rocket players were able to surpass my has-to-be-record of beating Roberson in football six times in four years. However, their accomplishment of winning Reynolds’ 21st conference championship in the last 29 years is still good enough to earn this week’s call.
Coach Shane Laws, and the rest of A.C. Reynolds Rocket Football:
Hope to see you all at the State Championship in Chapel Hill in a few weeks.
You can do anything you set your mind to man.
Until next time,